The future modified Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) class will be designated as frigates (FF), Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced Thursday.
“One of the requirements of the Small Surface Combatant Task Force was to have a ship with frigate-like capabilities. Well, if it’s like a frigate, Let’s call it a frigate?” Mabus said. “We are going to change the hull designation of the LCS class ships to FF. It will still be the same ship, the same program of record, just with an appropriate and traditional name.”
Existing LCS ships could earn the FF label as they are modified and fitted with additional capabilities.
According to a report from the U.S. Naval Institute, Mabus said the name change came after consultation with Navy leadership, including Sean Stackley, Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development & Acquisition (RDA). Mabus said he often had confusing conversations about the LCS ship class.
“It’s not an ‘L’ class ship,” he said. “When I hear ‘L’ I think amphib, so does everybody else.”
The FF designation for the LCS will be the first of a planned set of nomenclature changes for other ships classes as well that will come in the coming weeks, Mabus said.
The new up-gunned Fast Frigate class ships are set to be acquired in FY 2019. They will add about $50 to 60 million in weapons, sensors and armor to amplify the existing Freedom and Independence class designs.